Militants kill soldier, eight civilians in Pakistan
Militants killed a soldier in a bomb attack and shot dead eight civilians in the latest violence blamed on Taliban and Al-Qaeda militants in northwest Pakistan.world Updated: Feb 03, 2009 06:29 IST
Militants killed a soldier in a bomb attack and shot dead eight civilians in the latest violence blamed on Taliban and Al-Qaeda militants in northwest Pakistan, military and police said on Monday.
Police recovered eight bullet-ridden bodies in the Swat valley, where militants have been waging a violent campaign to introduce Islamic Sharia law.
At least another 11 bodies had been found in the former tourist resort on Sunday, a police official said.
"The bullet-ridden bodies of eight local residents were found on Monday morning in different areas of Swat, bringing to 19 the total number of corpses found during the last 24 hours," said the official, requesting anonymity.
He blamed the killings on militants loyal to radical Muslim cleric Maulana Fazlullah.
Fazlullah's men have executed dozens of state employees and pro-government supporters in the past year, and residents say the government has practically lost control of the region.
The military, trying to purge the extremists, killed 16 militants and lost one of its soldiers in battles across the valley on Sunday, officials said.
On Monday, a Pakistani soldier was killed and four wounded when a roadside bomb exploded in a tribal village on the Afghan border, the military said.
The bomb was planted on the road in Khamrang village near Wana, the main town in South Waziristan where Pakistani government troops have been fighting Taliban and Al-Qaeda militants, a military official said.
The remote-controlled device went off soon after the lead vehicle in a paramilitary convoy was spotted, the official said, requesting anonymity.
"One soldier died and four were wounded -- their vehicle was badly damaged," said the official.
Pakistan's northwest has been wracked by violence since hundreds of Taliban and Al-Qaeda rebels fled across the border to escape the US-led invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001.
Washington says the region has become a safe haven for the Islamic militants who are fighting against international troops based across the border.